I imagined someone who, after many hours’ trip from Kiev, gets off the train at ten to seven in the morning, passes through the dirty bowels of the Dworzec Centralny train station and walks towards Nowy Świat Street. Suddenly, they can’t believe their eyes. They see a palm tree. Or, imagine a man who every day rides to work on a tramway through the Rondo de Gaulle’a roundabout. He boards the tram somewhere in Praga, crosses the Poniatowskiego Bridge and suddenly, still slightly sleepy, he sees through the tram window a strange tree trunk, he looks up and sees the tropics, or the Middle East, or Mexico, he sees something that doesn’t belong to Warsaw, but still it’s here. The palm was to work like a film, to have the same capacity to create illusion. The moment when you have invented a way of being with another is the moment when all politics begin.
fragment of the book
Rajkowska: A Political Critique Guide is the first book publication devoted to the public projects of one of the most influential Polish visual artists of recent years. The artistic practice of Joanna Rajkowska is introduced by critics, anthropologists and sociologists. Vividly illustrated self-commentary forms a mini-narrative about art and politics. The works – from the original ideas, through execution, to the public reactions – are also discussed by the artist herself in essays as well as in conversations with Igor Stokfiszewski and Artur Żmijewski, both members of Krytyka Polityczna. Rajkowska: A Political Critique Guide is the 17th publication in the series of guides. Previously published guides include: Sasnal. A Political Critique Guide, Slavoj Zizek. A Political Critique Guide and Alain Badiou, Ethics. A Political Critique Guide.
Joanna Rajkowska (born 1968 in Bydgoszcz, Poland) is an author of objects, films, installations, ephemeral actions, as well as interventions in public space. Her works reflect changes in the reception and expectations towards art and its social functions, referring to the complexity of identity problems affecting Eastern European countries following their economic and political transformation of the 1990s. Rajkowska’s most widely discussed works: Pozdrowienia z Alej Jerozolimskich/ Greetings from Jerusalem Avenue (2002-2009) and Dotleniacz/ Oxygenator (2006-2007) functioned as contemporary ‘social sculptures’, activating layers of meanings (both historical and ideological), provoking conflicts, serving as specific platforms interwoven into the urban tissue of Warsaw, being used for debates, arguments and manifestations.
These works might also be considered as merely pretexts for discussion about the issues of land control and potential forms in which collective memory might be manifested as public monuments. As Joanna Rajkowska’s works materialise through ‘urban legends’, press-cuttings, gossips and media debates, their form is always ‘unfinished’, so there is the possibility that they will evolve and mutate, even against the artist’s initial intentions. Media patron BOOK DATA
Title: Rajkowska. A Krytyka Polityczna
Guide over design: Joanna Rajkowska
layout and typesetting: twożywo
cover: soft format: 118 x 165 mm
number of pages: 352 ISBN 978-83-61006-73-2
Krytyka Polityczna Guide series vol. 17
publisher: Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej / Stowarzyszenie im. Stanisława Brzozowskiego
place and date of publication: Warsaw 2009 price: PLN 34.90